The Daily Caller News Foundation watched an advanced screening of “Mars,” National Geographic’s miniseries-style show Thursday.
The series is set in 2033, and follows the first human mission to Mars, while frequently flashing back to the present to explain how the technology used in 2033 is being developed.
“Mars” may be an entertaining series, but it’s basically a commercial for SpaceX, Musk’s company.
At least half the first episode’s “flash-backs” prominently feature Musk himself or SpaceX employees, talking about their company.
The 2033 style mission is depicted as being organized by a powerful corporation, headed by a reasonable authority figure who share’s Musk’s accent, background and even looks like him. The missions is paid for by some sort of international governmental organization similar to the United Nations.
Other flashbacks included space visionaries like astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson and engineer Robert Zubrin discussing the the difficulties that the crew might face on a journey to, and living on, Mars.
To the show’s credit, it directly acknowledges how SpaceX previously failed on several occasions to successfully land a reusable rocket on Earth, which Musk called a “huge blow.” Another major failure occurred in September when a SpaceX rocket blew up during a test, which could cost the company as much as $120 million.
Despite the failures, Musk still plans to send the first robotic missions to Mars in 2018 or 2020.
Musk previously detailed plans to drastically cut the expected $10 billion per person cost to get to Mars with fully reusable rockets, orbital refueling and production of rocket fuel on Mars would be involved. SpaceX’s President Gwynne Shotwell has previously estimated that reusing rockets could cause a 30 percent reduction in launch costs. However, in the media screening viewed by TheDCNF, the show only discussed reusable rocketry.
The global event series premieres next Monday on the National Geographic Channel.
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